Directed by Community Theatre regular Jennifer Willison, this unique mystery thriller play will have you on the edge of your seat until the final big reveal. It is playing at Hunters Hill Town Hall until 2nd September.
Death Knell sets the scene perfectly in the cold and windy Scottish Highlands. Act 1 focusses on the events that unfold when Henry Roth (played by Chris Clark) invites Jack Willoughby (Ross Holohan) to he and his wife Evelyn's (played by Paula Searle) home. The Second act explores the shock effects of the events which transpired that fateful evening. Filled with plot twists, red herrings and cliff-hangers the play has been beautifully crafted and intertwined with tales of fidelity, alcoholism and the age-old adage of what it means to love someone.
The small cast of seasoned actors were perfectly chosen, coming across as entirely believable in their roles and interaction with other characters. Chris Clark is excellent as Henry Roth, a stern dictator and contrasts beautifully to the helplessness exuded by Paula Searle as Evelyn Roth and the innocence of Ross Holohan as Jack. Act 2 is greatly enhanced by Kim Oates appearing as Detective Lazan, adding a wonderful British humour to relieve the tension of Act 1.
It is a pleasure to observe these actors interacting in the set, which is a stand out highlight in the production. Impossibly intricate and detailed, the setting has been created with great thought and includes a fireplace with flickering lighting and a set of stairs leading to an upper storey we never see. Likewise, the lighting was well done and complimented the production's tone. The venue itself is phenomenal and allows the actors' voices to carry throughout the room.
As with many community theatre venues, there is a warm 'Mom and Pop' feel and everyone from the candy bar attendants to those manning the box office are exceptionally friendly and clearly passionate. Being surrounded by people who show such pride for their production has a wonderful effect on the atmosphere of the play.
Death Knell is no doubt a phenomenal story and the unique plot and genre offer a wonderful opportunity for escapism for the audience. It has been produced in a high-value format by Hunters Hill Theatre and is as much a must-see for those living far away as it is for those in the local area.
Death Knell is playing from 24 August – 2 September, 2018, at Hunters Hill Town Hall. Bookings can be made online at www.huntershilltheatre.com.au or by phone on (02) 9879 7765.